The Rapture & Jewish Weddings
There is an interesting parallel between a Jewish wedding and the Rapture. Only a Pre-Tribulation Rapture will fit into this scenario.
Jewish Wedding & The Rapture
There were three groups of people present at every Jewish wedding: the groom, the bride, and the invited guests. There will also be three groups of people involved in the marriage of the Lamb.
1. The Groom. This is Jesus (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:23-27)
2. The Bride. This is the Church (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:22-32, Rev. 21:9-10)
3. The Guests. Those saved after the Rapture (Matt. 25:1-10). Some people have mistakenly interpreted the 10 virgins as the Church. However, these are the guests invited to the wedding feast. They are not the bride.
Three Aspects of a Jewish Wedding
There were also 3 aspects of every Jewish wedding. The same is true with the marriage of the Lamb.
1. The Wedding Contract (Betrothal). This is when a person is saved (2 Cor. 11:2).
2. The Wedding Ceremony (Groom receives Bride). This is the Rapture (John 14:2-3). Revelation 19:7 literally reads, "The marriage of the Lamb came and His wife prepared herself." The wedding already occurred in heaven at the Rapture, and now the Lamb and the Church are about to return to earth for the wedding feast. This parallels what Jesus said in Luke 12:36, "And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding…" (It should read wedding, not "wedding feast." Why would someone wait after the wedding feast when the celebration is over?)
3. The Wedding Feast (Guests are invited the celebration). This is the Second Coming (Matt. 25:1-10) "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9)--A bride is not invited to her own wedding! The Church was married to Christ at the Rapture and the wedding feast will occur on earth after the Second Coming. Those people saved after the Rapture will be invited to participate in the wedding feast.
And here's one more thought to ponder…
Three Times of Redemption
"Redemption" means "to purchase." When a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, his or her spirit is redeemed at that time. At the Rapture, the person's body will be redeemed through resurrection. At the Second Coming, Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives to redeem the earth. The earth has been under a curse since the fall of Adam & Eve, and Jesus will lift the curse when He sets up His kingdom on earth.
1. At the time of salvation, Jesus redeemed your spirit. (1 Pet. 1:18, Eph. 1:7)
2. At the Rapture, Jesus will redeem your body. (Rom. 8:23, Eph. 1:14, 4:30).
3. At the Second Coming, Jesus will redeem the earth. (Rom. 8:19-22) At this time, the curse which was placed on it because of the fall of man (Gen. 3:17-19) will be lifted (Zech. 14:11).